Monsanto Co. hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking event recently marking the start of the construction phase for a new DEKALB corn seed production facility in Independence, IA.
Mark Leidy, Monsanto executive vice president, manufacturing, led the groundbreaking on the $90 million state-of-the-art facility and spoke to the importance of expansion in Iowa. “We’re in the heart of the nation’s most bountiful corn-producing region. This area is within excellent proximity to our growers, who remain, like we do, focused 100 percent on the success of agriculture.”
Once complete, the plant plans to utilize the services of more than 1,000 seasonal workers. In “phase one” of the facility’s build-out, scheduled for the fall of 2010, the new corn seed production plant will have two high-capacity dryers and green corn receiving lines, bulk storage, 175,000 square feet of warehouse space, and a conditioning tower capable of packaging 1,200 bags of corn seed per hour.
The new facility is a significant part of a more than $230 million planned investment by Monsanto in Iowa. Monsanto operates two other corn seed production facilities in Iowa, in the cities of Boone and Grinnell. In addition to building the new corn seed site, the company is expanding its existing corn seed production facilities in the state. Monsanto also expanded its facility in Ankeny, the company’s global hub for breeding research.